32. Challenge

There are two particularly telling claims about Jesus wherein each person can test him and personally know the results. The problem with the two tests is that they cannot be used simply as spiritual parlor games. Jesus confirms his truths only to those who sincerely want a continuing face-to-face relationship with God.

One of Jesus' earliest comments is that, "You shall not tempt the Lord God." By that he meant, God will not allow you to paint him into a corner. You cannot put God into a position that requires his response. If you could, God would be in your control, always subject to your manipulation. He would only be an actor in a spiritual dog-and-pony show.

Sincerity is one prerequisite for God's response. When we honestly want a dependency relationship with God, we get it. The dependency God requires is different from the dependency we always preferred. God wants his children dependent on him. As selfish people, we wanted God to be dependent on us. We thought he should do what we wanted instead of the other way around. Once we understand his priorities, and know we must be subject to him, he shows up when asked.

With that understanding, you can depend on God proving that Jesus was resurrected. Next, you can depend on God to send the baptism of the Holy Spirit as Jesus promised.

Jesus said he had to "go away" before he could send the Holy Spirit but the Spirit would come and be with you forever. He also promised, "I will not leave you desolate; I will come to you," (John 14:15-20; 16:7-11). If these promises are kept, Jesus is proved. If they are not kept, Jesus is disproved. Now let's ask Jesus to fulfill these promises.

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